Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Crafting, Playing, & New Adventures!

Too cute, right?

I've been spending my days with these two rugrats! N is my nephew and L is my little sister. (and by little I mean, almost, maybe an inch away from being taller than me)

We have been busy playing lots of Super Mario Bros., playing some hot box with my hubby and father in law, going for bike rides, taking walks, sandal shopping, and crafting!

The finished products aren't finished yet so I'll leave you with this picture to make you wonder! 

I have also made a very bold & exciting decision!

I am now an Independent Consultant with Thirty-One!
I have been debating this for a few months and really felt the Lord calling me to do this. Then the big bad devil jumped in and put a whole lot of doubt in my heart. I finally just said this is what I need to do. It is a job that the Lord has provided for me and I'm going to take it!
So if you are interested in purchasing some pretty amazing goodies, visit my website!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Today's the GIVEAWAY!!!!

It's here!
Giveaway Day!!!!!

Since I am well over 100 followers now, it's time to roll out this fabulous giveaway I have for you!

Let me introduce you to a pretty amazing lady first!

Meet Rachel. The cutest jewelry maker in Kentucky.(She also has the cutest little boy, but he's not up for the giveaway, so I'll get back to business!)

Check out some of her work...
Pretty Pink Mum Earrings

White Doily Necklace

Sweet Oval Canary Necklace 

Navy Blue Sakura Ring
Navy Blue Sakura Ring

Pastel Air Balloon Necklace

Are you in love yet?

Well Miss Rachel has offered to give away one necklace and one set of earings to one of my followers!!! Meaning if you win, you get to pick whatever you want from her amazing Shop!

But that's not all!
The winner will also get a short/long vowel activity I made!

And wait...there's more! (I feel like an infomercial!)
Remember my Later Gator Board? Well I have gotten so many questions about that system and the alligator that my hubby drew, I have decided to make him draw two more and give them away!!!

One lucky winner wil get all 3 of these great offers!
And the runner up will get the Sound it Out Vowel Sort & the Later Gator Board!

That's 2 winners if you're mind has completely jello-ed to summer already!

So here's how to enter:

1. Follow my blog
2. Follow Rachel's Blog
3. Visit Rachel's Etsy Shop & add it to your favorites
4. Visit Rachel's Etsy Shop & tell me what your favorite product is
5. Add my button to your sidebar
6. Blog about this giveaway and link back to this post.

That's 6 chances to win!

The giveaway will close on Saturday, July 2, 2011!

Thank you for being such awesome bloggy friends!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Career Week

We spent 2 fun-filled weeks learning all about careers! 

We had lots of guest speakers:
Fitness Instructor (who ironically is the same instructor that was teaching the class that I tore my meniscus in, but I didn't tell her that! Thought it might embarass her!)
Cheese Buyer (We have a huge cheese company called Cuba Cheese in our area and she brought in samples...LOVE)
Special Ed Life Services Programmer

During the 2 weeks, we interviewed one adult about their career and then spent time turning the interview into a research paper. I was very proud of how nice the papers turned out!

We made flip books about different supplies needed to be a fireman, police officer, teacher, doctor, and dentist.
We used great Lettering Delights Grown Up Boys & Girls clip art to pick different careers and write about them.
We watched a lot of Annie & Moby (We love BrainPop, Jr.)
We played the career/transportation game from Miss Kindergarten.
Did some task rotations about a town with no community helpers and different ways to either do our part or recruit helpers.
Had a class vote on who would be best at different jobs.

And our final, BIG, fun project was to make life size models of what we want to be when we grow up. We traced our bodies & then decorated them in our appropriate uniform.

I'll let some pictures do the talking!
An Artist

A Wrestler

A Teacher

I'm bummed I didn't get more pictures, but I kept forgetting my camera and when I finally remembered it they were already off the walls!
This was a really exciting project, but really difficult since I had just had my knee surgery. It's not so fun bending down tracing students when I can't exactly bend! But I'm so glad I stuck it out and didn't give up on it because they turned out so amazing and the kids worked so hard!

And don't forget tomorrow is the start of my giveaway!!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Celebrating Father's..A Little Late

Better late than never, right?

For Mother's Day we did a lot of gifts and even though Father's Day came right around the end of the school year and we were already super busy, I thought it would be best if we tried to do a lot of gifts for dad's too!

First students made toolboxes.
They took brown construction paper and folded it in half. Then traced the toolbox outline and cut it out. I staple up the sides.

They colored some tools, cut them out, glued to construction paper for durability, stapled some coupons to them and stuck them in the toolbox.
We made some recliner analogy pictures.
When you open the "footstool" it says things like My dad is as nice as..., My dad is as funny as....; My dad is as strong as...

And finally we made them shirt cards! They cut out the ties and we glued them to their paper shirts (that they traced from an outline). Underneath the tie, they wrote a special message for dad. In the pocket they put some tissue paper and some even put another coupon inside the pocket. (I love that this kiddo wanted her dad to have pink buttons on his shirt!)

I got the coupons and tie printables from Lettering Delights.

Hopefully there is an idea you can bookmark for next year!

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's Over...

I'm done. Never to enter crazytown again.

Never to see my precious firsties when they are silly secondies.

Today we didn't have any kiddos. We had a breakfast this morning, and I thought for sure the other first grade teacher would stand up and say thank you to me for keeping her class afloat for 5 months while she was out this year. Or maybe just to say she enjoyed working with me and that I was a good teacher. 

Clearly, I shouldn't think. 
Because that didn't happen. 

One teacher told me she wanted to say something about me, but didn't in fear of retaliation from administration. How sad is that.
Add that reason to why I can't be upset I'm out of that environment. 

Enough of that though. I am so grateful that I got to spend 180 days with such sweet, caring, and intelligent kiddies. I learned so much from them and I am still completely heartbroken that the year is over.

I did finally tell them that I won't be back yesterday. I had a few cry and a few were angry. They do not know any details, just that Mrs. Edwards won't be there when they return in September.

And finally...

***I want to thank each and everyone of you who have reached out to me through all of this. You will never understand how much you have lifted me up on terrible days. I am honored to be on this journey with you all by my side. Your kind words and prayers have been very much appreciated. For those of you that read my parent letter-WOW you are simply the best blogging friends I could ask for. You were honest but gentle, encouraging but realistic.

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.

And now on to the next journey in my life...anybody's districts hiring?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Overdue Giveaway Info.

So, I promised giveaway information probably a week ago and never delivered!

Well believe me it will be worth the wait!

The giveaway will officially be posted on Monday June 27th!
(No ifs, ands, or buts about it)

So don't forget to check back!

But I can't just leave you hanging again after I've held you in suspense for so long...

Here's a little hint for you-sparkly, shiny, and can change the look of anything!!!

End of the Year Gifts

Well tomorrow's the last day! I can't believe that I have taught, my own class, for 180 days!

Definitely a bittersweet time since I won't get to visit with all of my kiddies in September like I should be!

To send them off on their summer vacation, I gave them a little treat.

I wanted to find beach pails, but those babies are expensive! So I went with a 4-pack of cups for $1 at good old Wally-World! Then I took my trusty Sharpie and wrote my almost second graders (tear) names!

What child doesn't love freezie pops? I took 3 freezie pops, tied my special note on with some hemp, stuffed some tissue paper at the bottom, and voila-a fun, useful end of the year surprise!

This is the printable from the fabulous ladies over at eighteen25. I put a cute little poem that I found on the other side of this and that's what I tied around the freezie pops!

I'm almost positive they will love them!

I also made awards for each of my kiddos. I based them around candy bars.
I would upload them but since we got our new computer we haven't been able to afford to buy the entire Microsoft Office set. (Who knew how expensive that is??) (Big bummer-which means I don't have powerpoint on my home computer-which means I can't share the awards with you)
I promise they're good!

If you are still in school, I hope you enjoy your last few days.

Get Your Blog Gear Here!

How awesome is this blog world?

Seriously I am in absolute awe of the talent that people have!!!

The super amazing Leslie from Kindergarten Works created this awesome shop at CafePress for all of you Teaching Blog Addicts!!!!

Visit the store and check out all of the great things!!
 I've already got plans for my birthday money on these fabulous products!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Important Question!!!

I need your help!

I am trying to write a letter to my parents without going into great detail about why I will not be returning next year. BUT I would like to make some subtle hints that things are not exactly "ethical" within the district!

I have a letter written but do not want to post it directly to my blog. If you think you can offer any type of help PLEASE let me know and I can email the letter to you!!!!

I only have 2 days to accomplish this!

My husband thinks the letter I have written is perfect as is, but then again he can't talk about this situation without sweating and wanting to hit his punching bag so perhaps he is not the most objective opinion to rely on.

I don't want to appear mean or nasty towards my district (regardless of if I am or not).

(P.S. another situation unfolded today that has my head in a tizzy because I thought for sure it would be an easy fix and it isn't!! So I just want to be positive that I am writing a sincere letter)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birthday Wrap Up

Here are some final thoughts on birthdays!

Last-Minute Lifesaver: 15+ Free Father’s Day Printables

Go to this site if you are like me and love making things on a dime (or dollar) instead of a twenty. This lady is a woman after my own heart. She tells you how to throw a pretty a-mazing party shopping only at the Dollar Store. No I'm not making this up!


Doesn't that just look so delicious?? I know we all have healthy eating plans at our school and this candy skewer desert would never be allowed, but come on---is it not the best thing you have every seen? Stick your favorite candy on a stick and call it good! I call that simple and yummy!

Ice Cream Sundae themed party! Need I say more?
(I should add that I am completely bias when it comes to anything "ice cream!" My hubby's family is a pretty ice cream crazy bunch.
Birthdays=ice cream sundays!
Mother's Day=ice cream sundays!
Father's Day=ice cream sundays!
All summer long, on random days=ice cream sundays!

This year for our classroom funds, we were told that we needed to cut back on things that were not necessities to teaching. Specifically birthday crowns! Bummer right? (Although maybe my next school will be less crazy than this one and I won't have this birthday crown dilemna!!)
So instead of having nothing, why not make these adorable party hats? Go check this blog out-hours & hours of inspiration!

Thanks so much for celebrating my birthday with me! It's been a super fun week and I only have 3 1/2 days left at crazytown! Although that means I only have literally a blink of my eye left with my first grade babies! Ahhhh I can feel the tears coming already!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Head Hung Low..

I type before you now with my head hung low. In the blogger's "walk of shame."

I got so insanely busy yesterday and today that I didn't post any birthday ideas!! I know..tear!

Last night we had our Relay for Life in honor of my grandpa. Our team name is Haskell Rascals since my grandparents house is on Haskell Road. I lived with my grandparents for the first 10 years of my life so naturally I was very close with them. When my grampy passed last year, it was devastating. I knew it was coming but nothing can prepare you for losing someone who essentially rased you.
The Relay was a success though!

Then today was *cough* MY BIRTHDAY *cough*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The hubby and I drove to Buffalo to shop til we dropped and boy did we!

My Mr. surprised me with new sneakers yesterday! Since my knee surgery, I have been living in sneakers and mine were starting to show their age and weren't exactly the most comfortable things I own. So it was definitely time for new ones.

We got home around 7 pm and then I remembered it's grocery week and since tomorrow is Father's Day, I knew it needed to be done tonight. Boooo! I really just wanted the couch, some pizza, a Diet Coke, and some TV. But I dragged the hubs with me, I mean it is my birthday so I get the final say :)

When we got home I finished up my Step-dad's Father's Day Card! I did most of it last week at our Ladies Night Out event at church. I had to print off the inside saying and glue everything down!
Front (This is dad and his 3 girls)

Inside (I can't for the life of me figure out how to rotate this!! In my pictures folder it's in the right direction, but when I put it on here it flips?)

Let me know what ya think?

Now onto the Birthday Week and giveaway news.

I will extend birthday week until Monday and post different ideas tomorrow night to make up for Friday and today.

As for the giveaway, I know I promised info on that yesterday but like I said life happened and I couldn't exactly hook my laptop up at an outdoor track!! I will post giveaway info tomorrow too. You should all be ok until then since there are a whole bunch of other much more fabulous giveaways happening around blog land!!!

I'm off to the couch now with my big, tall Diet Coke!!

Happy Father's Day to any fathers that visit this blog! Or to any single moms out there that have to be fathers too!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Birth-Day 4!

Already day 4--whewww this week is flying by!

No complaints here (Just in case you were unaware, my birthday is Saturday!!)

My 4 yr. old sister spilled the beans tonight and told me she got me a jacket! And I absolutely, 100% didn't push or prod her to spill those beans or anything. I swear!

Where was I? Ready for some more fabulous birthday ideas?

Birthday Mobile
Take a coathanger and decorate with the birthday kiddo's name and picture. Write along the bottom "For your birthday, I would like to give you ____." Then have each student draw a picture of what they would like to give the birthday boy/gal. (Of course they draw on paper in the shape of a cake!) To keep the birthday kiddo occupied have them decorate candles to represent how old they are. Connect everything with some string & voila you have a very keep-sake"y" type gift! I don't remember where I heard this idea so if it's yours-please claim it :)


This party idea is A-Mazing! Night Owl pajama party!! I can't wait to have a little girl so she can be 7 or 8 and have one of these. So cute!

No picture needed for this site. Seriously A-Mazing things on this blog. This girl is on her game. Just for birthday ideas along it took me forever to browse through all of the things she linked too. And when I say forever, I really mean the most amazing time of my day!

Check out what Rachelle & Natalie do to celebrate birthdays throughout the year and over the summer!! I'm definitely borrowing this pixie balloon idea!

These ladies sure know how to take something average, like a napkin, and turn it into something rather A-Mazing!

Yes, I am aware that I used the term A-Mazing lots of times in this post! Must be the closer I get to my birthday, the more excited I get!!

Now it's your turn! Click on the button below and link up to share your ideas.
 I know you have them--you are full of inspiration!

Giveaway information being posted tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

102 People Actually Read This??

Stop the presses!

I must be interesting if over 100 people actually want to read what I have to say! 

Giveaway information coming soon!

Not sure what I want to giveaway at this point so I've got to plan it out!

I'm really excited!

Check back soon for more info!!!

Birth-Day 3!

We're halfway there!! Today we held a shower for a sweet teacher and it was extra special because she had little Blake with her! So I got to love on some baby and came home with that sweet baby smell on my hands! I think that should subside my baby fever for a month or two!

Ok back to business!

Classroom Scavenger Hunt

Check out this awesome sight packed full of different party games, snacks, & decorations. One idea they had was to plan a scavenger hunt for the party. My little brain got busy and I thought how fun would it be to have a year long scavenger hunt? Give out a clue or two on each birthday and then have it lead up to something huge! Of course you wouldn't put out the surprise until the last birthday, but it might still be fun to send them on a hunt for a whole school year!

ice cream cone cupcake

Cupcake cones! Need I say more? A cupcake. In an ice cream cone. Without the melty mess of ice cream. WIN!

ice cream inspiration board

Talk about a fabulous blog that I just recently stumbled upon! Like seriously, I'm not kidding when I saw WOW! I spent a good hour just checking all of the posts out! Go there now and look at all of the amazing birthday ideas that are posted. An ice cream social for your summer birthdays? A book wrapped in packagine paper and decorated with letters for an alphabet themed party? Angry Birds cupcakes? A birthday party for your doggy? Do I have you hooked yet?

Don't forget to link up and share you're ideas!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Birth-Day 2!

Welcome back for another day of birthday ideas!


How sweet is this homemade butterfly/flower garland? Now, I'm not sure I would ever have the time to pull this out everytime we celebrate a birthday but how cute would it be to use at home?


Carisa (who has a fabulous homeschool blog & curriculum) has these great birthday printables. These are mainly geared towards pre-school age.

How about some homemade playdough for your kiddos? I love this idea! Playdough is so simple to make and I know my sisters wouldn't mind helping me make a batch every month! For boys, you could find a more "boyish" cookie cutter and wrap it in blue ribbon!

Hope you're enjoying these birthday ideas! Don't forget to link up & share how you celebrate birthdays, either in your classoom or at home!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birth-Day 1!

Happy Monday all :)

Hope you enjoy these different birthday ideas. (Not all of them are strictly classroom oriented)

How precious are these bookmarks?? My kiddies would love to get something like this instead of a boring 'ol paper one!!(if only I had the time to make 20 of these)

 Or what about taking something like this and changing the words to say "Congragulations Smartie Pants. You're one year smarter" (or something else less corny than my attempt!)

And finally for today, visit Mrs. Golds Class for lots of different birthday printables, crafts, games, & much more!!!

Don't forget to click on the Birthday Week Button to link up all of your fabulous birthday ideas!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


In honor of my upcoming birthday, I am hosting a linky party about ways you celebrate birthdays in your classroom or at home!

In my classroom, I always have a birthday crown with the student's name on it placed on their desk for when they get there. I also give them a Happy Birthday pencil.

Then the rest of the class uses the Happy Birthday special note from my special notes pack to shower the birthday kiddo with lots of friendly love.

My school has a nutrition plan in order, so we are not supposed to have too many sweets. Try telling that to parents though. Often times we end up with cupcakes or cookies. What's one day of a little treat? I also have a peanut and egg allergy in my classroom, so everything has to be store bought with all of the ingredients labeled.

The birthday boy or gal is allowed to pick one friend to visit other teachers on the same floor with the leftover treats. Of course the other teachers love getting a sweet treat at the end of the day.

Finally we do the human birthday cake. The birthday friend picks a candle for each year of age. They form a circle around the birthday friend. The rest of the students form another circle around the candles. The candles walk in one direction and the cake part walks in the opposite direction while singing Happy Birthday. Once we sing twice, the birthday friend gets to blow out the candles (he taps each candles head and the fizzle down). Finally, the birthday friend cuts the cake (picks a spot around the outside circle to seperate two hands)

We have a lot of fun on birthdays! I'm curious to see what my firsties have planned for me this week. They all seem very excited to make me pick candles! They clearly don't realize there aren't even enough students in my class to make candles!!

How do you celebrate birthdays?